Still a long way to go to create awareness on mental health: Deepika

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Still a long way to go to create awareness on mental health: DeepikaNew Delhi, Sep 15 (IANS) Bollywood star Deepika Padukone, who has openly spoken about her battle with depression at the peak of her career, is happy that a conversation on mental health has opened up but agrees there is still a long way to go in terms of creating more awareness.

The 33-year old actor, who was in the capital for the first edition of Live, Love, Laugh – a lecture series with Deepika, opened about her depression in 2015.

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“I think the conversation has opened up (on mental health). I don’t think there’s as much stigma as there used to be four years ago. But we certainly have a long way to go in terms of creating more awareness. I think that’s where we need to keep the conversation alive,” Deepika, who looked stunning in a pristine white ensemble paired with shimmery dangling earrings and minimal make-up, told reporters here.

One of the highest paid actor of India, Deepika, who started her career with “Om Shanti Om” over a decade ago, has set up a foundation to create awareness on mental health named ‘The Live Love Laugh Foundation’ in 2015, which creates awareness about stress, anxiety and depression.

From opening about her struggles to now, the “Piku” star describes her journey as “incredible.”

“It’s been an incredible journey since we developed our foundation. .. it’s been 4 years now and today we launch our first lecture series and I think we have come a long way and in all certainty we have a long way to go. But I think as far as the conversation around mental health is concerned I think we have come a long way,” she said.

Deepika added: “I think media has had a huge role in that in opening up the conversation in various ways whether its interviews, write-ups and articles… but we certainly have a long way to go and that’s why we have the lecture series today.”

The maiden lecture was delivered by Pulitzer Prize winning author and Padma Shree awardee Siddhartha Mukherjee. The event was graced by Deepika’s parents Prakash Padukone and Ujjala, sister Anisha Padukone, actress Sharmila Tagore, key stakeholders and decision makers from different sectors.

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